June 17, 2018
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Urges New Yorkers to Take Precautions for Excessive Heat Sunday into Monday

Governor Cuomo Urges New Yorkers to Take Precautions for Excessive Heat Sunday into Monday

New York State's Heat Advisory Threshold Lowered to 95 Degrees Fahrenheit to Help Prevent Heat-Related Illnesses

Many State Park Pool Locations Open This Weekend Ahead of the Official Start to Summer

High Temperatures Mixed with Increased Humidity Could be Dangerous to At-Risk Populations Such as Older People and Small Children

DEC and DOH Issue June 17 Air Quality Health Advisory for New York City, Lower Hudson Valley, Eastern Lake Ontario and Western New York

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today urged New Yorkers to take precautions against heat related illnesses and limit strenuous outdoor physical activity as dangerous heat and humidity moves into the state Sunday and especially Monday resulting in high heat index values. These heat index values, or what the temperatures feels like when combined with high humidity, will reach 80 to 90 degrees Sunday and 90 to 105 degrees Monday, especially in the cities and valleys. People who are susceptible to heat related illnesses including young children, the elderly, those who exercise outdoors, those involved in vigorous outdoor work, and those who have respiratory diseases such as asthma.At risk populations should take necessary steps to stay cool as temperatures rise.

"With prolonged heat and humidity in the forecast, I urge New Yorkers to take necessary steps to stay cool," Governor Cuomo said. "As temperatures continue to rise, I encourage everyone to check on your friends and neighbors who may need some extra help and to cool off at state parks pools and cooling centers."

At the Governor's direction, the State Department of Health, in collaboration with the National Weather Service, has lowered the temperature for alerting people to the risk of heat-related illness during hot days and heat waves. DOH research, funded by NASA, showed that emergency department visits and hospital admissions from heat increase significantly on days when the heat index reaches 95 degrees or higher. The risk of heat stress, dehydration, renal illness, cardiovascular illness and death increases for up to four days after a heat wave. The National Weather Service has lowered the advisory threshold for all of New York State from 100 degrees to 95 degrees.

Additionally, the New York State Department of Health created an online list of cooling centers, where people can cool down on days of extreme temperatures. A list of addresses and phone numbers for cooling centers shared by local health departments and emergency management offices in each region is available here.

Select swim locations across the New York State Park system are open this weekend so that visitors alike may cool off during the hot days ahead.

Just some of the popular locations taking swimmers this weekend ahead of the actual start of summer include Jones Beach, Robert Moses and Sunken Meadow on Long Island, Denny Farrell Riverbank (Indoor Pool) and Gantry Plaza Spray Pad in New York City, Bear Mountain, Rockland Lake, Minnewaska, Lake Taghkanic and Taconic (Copake and Rudd Pond) in the Hudson Valley, Grafton Lakes, Saratoga Spa (Victoria Pool), Moreau Lake in the Capital District, Delta Lake in the Mohawk Valley, Green Lakes and Verona Beach in Central, Taughannock Falls and Watkins Glen in the Southern Tier, Fair Haven and Hamlin Beach in the Finger Lakes, and Fort Niagara, Evangola and Allegany (Quaker Area) in Western New York.

For a complete list of all available swim locations and places to cool off please visit www.parks.ny.gov and select a state park near you.

Warmer temperatures mixed with increasing humidity will move into most of New York State on Sunday. In the Finger Lakes, Central, Southern Tier, and Mohawk Valley high temperatures on Sunday will reach into the mid to high 80s, especially in the cities and the deeper valleys. For Monday, temperatures will hit or exceed 90 degrees and with increased humidity the heat index will reach into the low to middle 90s and could reach to over 100 degrees in the cities of Rochester and Syracuse.

Temperatures will range in the mid 80s on Sunday and Monday in the North Country and Capital Region with higher temperatures in the 90's in Mid-Hudson Region. Factoring in the heat index, temperatures will feel like 80 to 90 degrees Sunday and 90 to 105 degrees Monday. The New York City Region will experience a noticeable climb in humidity and temperature with temperatures near 90 on Sunday and reaching the mid-90s on Monday with the heat index reaching 95 degrees up to 100 degrees.

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Department of Health (DOH) are issuing an Air Quality Health Advisory for the New York City Metro area, Lower Hudson Valley, Eastern Lake Ontario, and Western New York for Sunday, June 17, 2018, for Ozone, which will be in effect from 11 a.m. through 11 p.m. DEC and DOH are also issuing an Air Quality Health Advisory for the New York City Metro area, Long Island, and Lower Hudson Valley for Monday, June 18, 2018, for Ozone, which will be in effect from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

A toll-free Air Quality Hotline (1-800-535-1345) has been established by DEC to keep New Yorkers informed of the latest Air Quality situation. Additional information on ozone and PM 2.5 is available on DEC's web site at http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8400.htmland http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/outdoors/air/ozone.htm on DOH's website.

Summer heat leads to more boaters on New York State waters. Make sure you are taking proper safety precautions. The U.S. Coast Guard offers the following safety tips:

  • Don't drink: Alcohol affects judgment, vision, balance and coordination
  • Take a safety course. Seven out of 10 boating incidents are caused by operator error. Check the NYS Parks website or the DEC Website for courses near you.
  • Wear a life jacket - Properly fitted life jackets can prevent drowning, the leading cause of boating-related deaths.
  • Check your boat - The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.D. Power Squadron offers free safety checks for water vessels. Learn more at www.vesselsafetycheck.org.
  • Be Prepared. Let people know where you are going and when you should return and carry signaling devices such as flares, whistles or a horn
  • Follow all posted speed limits
  • Keep a watchful eye for other boaters and swimmers while boating

Excessive heat is the leading cause of preventable, weather-related deaths each year, particularly among the elderly. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heat causes more than 600 preventable deaths in the United States yearly. To help New Yorkers stay safe during excessive heat the Governor offered the following tips:

People Who Should Be Aware:

  • Elderly persons and small children are mostly affected.
  • Persons with weight or alcohol problems are very susceptible to heat reactions.
  • Persons on certain medications or drugs.

Be Prepared:

  • Slow down on strenuous activity and exercise, especially during the sun's peak hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Exercise should be done in the early morning between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.
  • Eat less protein and more fruits and vegetables. Protein produces and increases metabolic heat, which causes water loss. Eat small meals, but eat more often. Do not eat salty foods
  • Drink at least two to four glasses of water per hour during extreme heat, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine
  • If possible, stay out of the sun and stay in air conditioning. The sun heats the inner core of your body, resulting in dehydration. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor, out of the sunshine, or go to a public building with air conditioning
  • If you must go outdoors, wear sunscreen with a high sun protector factor rating (at least SPF 15) and a hat to protect your face and head. When outdoors, wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing. Cover as much skin as possible to avoid sunburn and over-warming effects of sunlight on your body
  • Do not leave children, pets or those who require special care in a parked car or vehicle during periods of intense summer heat. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach over 140 degrees Fahrenheit quickly. Exposure to such high temperatures can kill within a matter of minutes
  • Make an effort to check on your neighbors during a heat wave, especially if they are elderly, have young children or have special needs
  • Make sure there is enough food and water for pets

Know the Signs of Heat Related Illness:

Prolonged exposure to the heat can be harmful and potentially fatal. Call 911 if you or someone you know shows signs or symptoms of heat illness, including:

  • Headache
  • Light headedness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

For more information on how to stay safe during periods of excessive heat, click here and here.

Additionally, Governor Cuomo recently announced that $3 million in federal funding was made available for New Yorkers with serious health issues through the Home Heating Assistance Program (HEAP) to receive assistance to purchase air conditioners. Cooling assistance will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Local departments of social services will accept applications through August 31, or until funding runs out.


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